SpaceX launches cargo to space station

Eloise Marshall
December 8, 2018

SpaceX had planned to land the first stage of the brand-new Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket at a landing zone ashore at Cape Canaveral, but as the rocket descended toward the cape, the live feed from the booster's onboard cameras appeared to show the craft going into some sort of uncontrolled spin. Moreover, when the rocket successfully landed on the court - delivering the ongoing mission of the SSO-A SmallSat Express more than 60 satellites from 35 partners to orbit - SpaceX experts also noted that the missile does not require any lengthy and complicated fix work, thereby indicating that subsequent start will be made, apparently, without any visible technical changes.

LZ 1 was built on the former site of Space Launch Complex 13, a Cold War-Era U.S. Air Force rocket and missile testing range last used in 1978.

According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Twitter, a hydraulic pump on one of the first stage grid fins stalled, so the booster ended up splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean rather than coming in for a landing at a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

Monday witnessed both a Soyuz rocket blasting three newcomers to the ISS and a Falcon 9 rocket taking 64 smallsats into orbit 310 miles (500 km) above Earth.

It was the first missed landing at Cape Canaveral.

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"Plan is to dry them out and launch again", Musk tweeted. The craft was on a resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Researchers expect a tenfold increase in the worm population.

The launch was delayed a day when NASA discovered that the food for the mouse-tronauts was mouldy because of contamination. More food had to be rushed in from California.

Just two days earlier, three astronauts arrived at the space station to join the three already there. The crew includes two Americans, two Russians, one German and one Canadian. The others return home on December 20, leaving only three for Christmas dinner, not counting the mice and worms.

SpaceX has been making station deliveries for NASA since 2012. SpaceX is expected to conduct an uncrewed test launch of its passenger craft in 2019 and then conduct its first crewed test later in the year.

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